How I Write

Last year, at Type A Conference, I met a new friend, Sean. She’s a space-crazed Texan and I adore her for it. She and I agree on lots, except the whole “man on the moon” thing. She obviously thinks we’ve been since she knows people who say they were there. Whatever. Agree to disagree and all that!

She asked me last week to join her sharing about How I Write. She swore I only had to answer a few questions, so it seemed easy enough!

Here you go.

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1. What am I working on?

Right now, all cylinders are firing on Listen To Your Mother stuff. There are several lists of things to be done before this Saturday’s show. I’ve done more reading than writing lately, to be honest, working on this show. (REMINDER: Buy Tickets now)

My day job is super busy, being spring and all, and life feels like everything on my to do list is a bullfrog I’m trying to keep in a wheelbarrow.

2. How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

You know? I’ve never really thought about that. I guess my genre is memoir, but even that I’m not 100% sure about.

When I read other people who write about life like I do, I realize, though, that I write very short essays. I’m quick, to the point, and concise. I like a nice, neat package that has a great starting sentence and a great ending sentence. At least I try to do that. I don’t use a lot of big words, but that’s ok because I don’t use a lot of big words when I talk. It’s not that I can’t, it’s that I just don’t!

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because it’s my life.

Why would I write about anything else? I write my truth, my story, my heart.

4. How does my writing process work?

My process is simple. I sit. I write. I hit publish.

I don’t have a complicated system. Every now and then I’ll jot some notes down while I’m driving or while I’m at work. But most of the time, when I do that, I forget the context in which it was thought of in my brain. It never comes back so now I don’t even bother writing it down unless I can write out the whole post. My best works have been done spur of the moment, with just one word floating around in my head, beating on the inside to get out.

That’s why I could never post daily on here. I can’t force myself to write something.

I write what my gut says to write.

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I was told to choose two people to carry this on. I want to know how Miranda and Leah write.

 

Ten Days To Listen To Your Mother: Atlanta

Today, my co-director/producer Miranda went to do a walk-through with the lighting tech at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre for our show. When she walked out, y’all, THIS was on the marquee.

marquee

It just got real, y’all.

In ten days, TEN DAYS, this event we’ve worked so hard on will be happening.

Have I told you about our cast? I don’t even know where to start. The cast of this show is amazing. I swear you will laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh til you cry, and you may even wet your pants. (Warning: Use the potty before entering)

We’ve held a few rehearsals and it feels like a family now. We laugh and cry together. We’ve heard stories that haven’t yet been told out loud from each other. We are making magic.

castcollage

We’re not professionals. We’re not even all mothers. Heck, one of us is even a guy! But we’re all bonded by our stories, and now by being in the Listen To Your Mother family.

WE WANT TO INVITE YOU TO OUR LTYM FAMILY DINNER TABLE. 

Please join us on Saturday, April 26, at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta, at 7pm for a show that celebrates all-things-motherhood. Bring a group or come alone. Bring tissues to wipe tears of laughter and tears of sadness.

I promise you’ll leave wanting more and feeling like a member of the family.

SHOW INFORMATION

Drowning

Have you ever felt like you were drowning? It’s my worst fear. I would rather die in fire or from falling out of a plane that to drown. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to swim, or because I’m a Sagittarius. It’s probably because I can’t hold my breath very long and was always the first one up during Country Club Pool hold-your-breath contests.

Last night I dreamed about drowning in the Country Club Pool.

I’m pretty sure it’s because after a week of feeling like drowning, I was granted permission to “GO GENTLY WITH YOU.” (thank you, Ann)

Work is crazy. I mean, it’s Spring and I work at a wholesale nursery. It hasn’t rained in over 72 hours (a miracle) and people are itching for NEW! PRETTY! FLOWERS! AND! TREES! OMG! NOW! It’s like putting a puzzle together every day for 8 hours and you keep losing pieces and finding them and finishing the puzzle and then having a wind come by and break it all apart and having to start over.

**comes up for air**

Listen To Your Mother preparations is all-consuming in one of the best ways possible. I’ve never been a part of something so amazing. There’s so much behind the scenes stuff involved with directing/producing a live show…

And as Eminem says, “My OCD’s conking me in the head.” For me this means if everything can’t be done right and right now, I freeze and nothing gets done right or done right now. But I’m conking my OCD right back in the head. My hammer might not be as big as its is, but I’m trying.

Speaking of the show, if you’re anywhere near Atlanta, why haven’t you bought tickets? Do that. Like, NOW. The show is in less than 2 weeks. (Have you bought tickets? WHY NOT?)

**panics and comes up for air**

Did I mention life is pulling me into the riptide? Laundry piles are everywhere. Dishes are still in the sink, which I HATE more than I hate cauliflower. Dust is collecting. Pollen is adding to that dust. Homework and back-talking and sick germs never end.

We have to move at the end of June. Our lease is up and we don’t want to leave the school district but finding a rental is going to be hard and we’re not sure we want to buy right now and looking for houses that will fit all our needs is nearly impossible.

**pushes all that to the end of the to do list and comes up for air**

As I feel like I’m being pulled under, under, under, I realize that I can see the light up there. It’s bright and sends rays through the chlorinated water that burns my skin. I hear others splashing around and see that I’m getting closer to the surface. I must’ve floated to the shallow end because I can touch the ground below me, the concrete scratching my feet. My face breaks the surface of the water, and I gasp for air and feeling the sun shine on my face.

This too shall pass.

And until it does, I’ll just keep swimming – flapping my arms and coming up for air as often as I can.

The Coat Closet

After my Grannie died in September, the big challenge was obviously going through the house where she and my Grandaddy had lived for 50+ years. Her house was meticulously organized, even her extra bedroom-turned-closet.

One of the first things my mom and aunt tackled was the large collection of linens. It was no secret that Grannie loved linens. Tablecloths, napkins, towels, OMGTHEHANDTOWELS, sheets, and comforters. They kept the ones they wanted for themselves and gave the others away to places that might be able to use them.

The other thing that was no secret that my Grannie AND Grandaddy shared a love for was their collection of coats, jackets, and sweaters. There were dozens, if not over a hundred. Because living in Southwest Central Georgia requires a large collection of winter wear.

Whatever: old people get cold.

Anyway, there was a large collection. None of the grandchildren wanted or needed any of the items and neither did my mom or aunt. They would be better served with people who truly needed them.

A little before Christmas, my mom and aunt packed them up and my mom rode around with them in her car for a while. Right before our first big winter storm of this year (who knew), I told her she needed to look for a coat closet of some sort to give them to or take them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. People NEEDED the coats and she had them all in her car.

She called around to different churches, asking if they had a ministry that would take them. They all sent her to another church and another and another. Nobody had a coat ministry.

Finally, my mom got a man on the phone at a church that said, “Yes ma’am, come on and bring them to me at your convenience.”

So she did.

When she arrived at the church, the ladies in the office were very confused. Apparently they didn’t have a coat closet ministry, and my mom must surely have the wrong church. They talked back and forth for a few minutes, wondering who my mom confused them with, when they heard a man’s voice from the back office.

“Is that the lady with the coats?”

Even more confused, they answered, “Yes,” and he came to greet my mom.

The ladies kept on, “But we don’t HAVE a coat ministry, Pastor. Did you really talk to her?”

“Ladies,” he said. “We’ve never had a coat closet, but there’s a need for one. She has coats to give us, so we now have a coat closet ministry.”

Before my mom left, he shared a few more words with him. He told her, “God provided the coats for the closet; now He will direct us to the need for them.”

And so the coat closet ministry at that church was started.

And so it ever shall be.

Amen.

Enough is Enough

Seriously. I’m tired of it.

Enough is enough.

Babies have to stop dying. Parents need to stop having to choose tiny caskets that can be picked up by one person. Have you ever seen one? Just the casket itself will give you nightmares.

I’m pissed.

I can’t believe it’s 2014 and there are still as many people burying their babies as there are. I know, if we were in the 1800′s or even 50 years ago, it would be more. But damn.

It’s not fair.

Yeah, something good will come from it. A lot of people do great things in the wake of devastating and bring-you-to-your-knees situations, but WHY DO WE STILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS?

Every time I hear of a new baby who won’t get to have a birthday party, go to kindergarten, get married, or even take his first steps, I cry. Mostly, because I can’t take it away from the person suffering the new loss. I’ve been there. I would rather take their pain than have ANYbody else in this world  have to feel those stages of grief.

And that is how I feel this Sunday morning.

Enough is enough.

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